Thursday, January 20, 2011


M. Night Shyamalan totally embarrassed himself this summer with "The Last Airbender."  What can you say abou the misguided ego of a director that decides for no reason to change the name of the main character?  After a string of critical losers, this should have been the final nail in the coffin of the cinematic vampire.  Alas, M. Night had a back up plan:  to start of series of films in which he'd produce but not direct.  The first of these was "Devil."

The results are underwhelming.

It's not a horrible film.  There are moments where a little shock is created.  It certainly doesn't look bad, nor is it any worse acted than anything that is direct to DVD.  These however, are definitely damning with faint praise.  The problem with the film is simple, the premise.  People trapped in an elevator with the devil just sounds stupid on the face of it.  What, the devil has nothing better to do than to be stuck between the 12th and 13th floor?  Also, as a locked room mystery, it's pretty impossible to have in an elevator that is under constant view without a lot of cheating.

They cheat a lot.

In any case, it's the premise that sinks the film because they didn't do anything to lift it out absurdity.  To be fair I don't know what I'd do if I was told, "Make a film about the devil on an elevator."  About the best I could think of would be the equally hack idea of maybe the devil letting the folks off on 'special' floors.  Like, "Here you go sir, Luggage and buggage, on this floor you'll find all the conveniences.  Oh and your dead wife.  The one you killed.  She is very hungry Sir.  This is your stop." 

But I'm not M. Night.

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